Take Good Care Of Yourself

So you want to be independent and ignore your parents’ advice. But sometimes they really do know what’s good for you, says Chloe Hughes.

Leaving a club at 3am, holding your heels in your hand and staggering through the streets looking for a kebab; plus the problem of the one friend who’s got lost and nobody can remember the last time they saw her – sounds like a standard night out, right?

This is what your parents spent years warning you about. Only for you to brush it off. The whole point of leaving home and being away from pesky overprotective parents is so you can do whatever you want, whenever you like, without having to ask permission, OK?

But there are real dangers which you really ought to know.

In March a 22 year old man was sentenced to 22 years in prison after he attacked, raped and killed a 19 year old university student in East London. Her body remained unidenfitied for some time because she had been so badly beaten. Of course this is a terribly rare case, but it does happen.

In the past year 2795 sexual attacks were reported in the East London area, including 14 instances in which the attack resulted in the death of the victim. By pointing this out, I am not trying to scare young girls into not wanting to go out and enjoy the clubs and nightlife; I just think that many girls need to be more aware of what they are doing and realise that some of the choices they are making, are very unwise.

I spoke to a friend, who was mugged and beaten while walking home after a night out in June 2013. Now she insists she ‘would never wander alone at night and put myself in that position again’.

This is how it happened: ‘The whole way home from the club there were two guys following me and my group of friends, but I didn’t take any notice of it. As soon as I walked down the alley to my flat I thought they had gone the other way and then I noticed they were still behind me. The next thing I knew they were chasing me and had pushed me to the ground before I could scream for help. I woke up in the hospital the next morning, with none of my belongings’.

It prompted my friend to revisit her mum and dad’s advice: ‘My parents always pestered me about walking home in a group, and not leaving anyone alone but I never thought about it until that happened.’

Show me a child that doesn’t break their parents’ rules at some point. It’s an essential part of growing up. So surely this sensible advice should be coming from people other than parents. If it was integrated into the school and college curriculum, or publicised by clubs and venues themselves, it would be taken more seriously by those of us who need it most – vulnerable young women.